MINUTES–MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING –SEPTEMBER 13,
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 13th day
of September, 2011, by Mayor Giese in the Council
Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: The
Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
OATH OF OFFICE: Mayor
Giese administered the oath of office to new City Attorney Aaron Jordan.
ROLL CALL: Roll
call was taken with the following members present: Council member Carrington, Webster,
Miller and Mayor Giese. Council
member Storck was absent. Also
present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Krosschell, Police Chief
Beauregard and City Attorney Jordan.
ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor
Giese added a resolution to the agenda entitled: Resolution Authorizing an Agency
Agreement for a Safe Routes to School Grant.
CITIZEN’S COMMENTS: None
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 8/23/11 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by
Webster, to approve the 8/23/11 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Council member Webster moved, seconded
by Carrington, to approve the 8/23/11 condensed version minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor
Giese moved, seconded by Council member Webster, to approve the consent agenda
which included the following items:
A. Audit of City
B. August Transit
C. Raffle License
D. Gambling Report
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Authorizing Execution of
MN DOT Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition: Hill explained this resolution is for
design work on the parallel taxiway for the Morris airport. This is a federal project with total
design costs of $135,000. The
federal share would be $128,250 and the local share $6,750. The plan is to try and get the project
done next year.
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Webster, to adopt Resolution #3034-9-11,
Resolution Authorizing Execution of MN DOT Grant Agreement for Airport
Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition.
Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion
the Preliminary 2011 Tax Levy for Collection in 2012 and the 2012 Preliminary
Budget: Hill presented the preliminary budget
and levy to the council. Hill recommended
the preliminary levy be set at $1,346,438 and the overall preliminary budget be
set at $9,602,382. This tax levy
results in a 7.6% increase, but Hill anticipated that the final levy would be
somewhere between 3% and 5%.
Hill noted there is a slight
increase in the general fund and the library fund. There is a lot of debt but it is for
projects like infrastructure, which is an important investment because of the
value it adds to the city. Hill
suggested a one time transfer be made from the liquor
store to pay off the last payment on the debt for the fire truck.
Hill stated he would like
to add $25,000 to the 2007A bond fund levy to offset the normal transfer in from
the franchise funds. Also, $57,665 will
be added for the 2011A bond fund levy for the East 8th and 9th
Street improvement project. There
will not be an improvement bond next year because of the federal funding on the
Pacific Avenue project.
With regard to the budget,
it is projected there will be an approximate 13% increase in the total budget,
which includes additional revenue and expenses for the Pacific Avenue project,
activity in the bond funds and some additional one time transfers. The general fund would increase by 1.9% which Hill indicated is very manageable. Fuel costs are going up, along
with repair costs because last winter was tough on equipment.
One of the big issues with
the budget is that the State of Minnesota eliminated the Market Value Homestead
Credit, which gave the city about $105,000 of levy use for 2012.
Hill pointed out one
change in this budget from previous years is the elimination of the fire relief
contribution. However, Hill is recommending their annual benefit be increased
Miller asked why library
expenses were increased by 2.6% when everything was being frozen. Hill indicated the only thing that has changed
with this fund is the wages and benefits and maybe a little bit for
There is an additional
$25,000 being transferred to the capital outlay fund for equipment. Hill stated if the city doesn’t continue
to take care of equipment the end result is broken equipment and failed
The Franchise funding is
not generating enough revenue to complete the required upgrades, but funding
for new construction will help alleviate this issue in the future. As the infrastructure is improved, less
money will be needed for dramatic maintenance.
time transfer of $163,000 from the capital outlay fund will be made to
the Pacific Avenue project to pay the local share of the project.
Hill stated he truly
believes the city has to look at the assessment policy for improvements. Currently the city funds
100% of road costs from the general levy and Hill doesn’t know of hardly
any cities that are doing that. Hill
recommended the city look at assessing at least 20% for roads. Miller asked for a dollar amount just to
see how an assessment would change for a property owner if the road was included.
Hill indicated that information would be brought forth at the budget
Council member Webster moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3035-9-11,
Resolution Approving the Preliminary 2011 Tax Levy for Collection in 2012. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
the Preliminary 2012 Budget for the City of Morris: Mayor
Giese moved, seconded by Council member Carrington, to adopt Resolution #3036-9-11,
Resolution Approving the Preliminary 2012 Budget for the City of Morris. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
an Agency Agreement for a Safe Routes to School Grant: This
grant money would be used for solar powered speed signs along Columbia Avenue
so when a person travels up and down the hill they can see how fast they’re
going. The grant would pay for 80%
of the cost, with a small local share.
Council member Carrington moved, seconded by Webster, to adopt Resolution #3037-9-11,
Resolution Authorizing an Agency Agreement for a Safe Routes to School
Grant. Upon a roll call vote taken
and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: City Manager Report: This was informational for the council.
Hill stated he would be meeting
with Sheriff Randy Willis to discuss the situation with the recent drowning
victim and who is responsible for charges related to the accident. Hill indicated the bills have to
be paid by someone but questioned why taxpayers are paying for something that
is outside of city limits.
Worksession: The council members will check their
calendars and set a date for a worksession at one of the upcoming council
NEW BUSINESS: The
council welcomed new City Attorney Aaron Jordan.
Miller asked if there had been any progress on updating the access
channel. Hill indicated he got an
email from Mike Cihak at UMM and will be consulting with him about what to do
next. The city will ultimately have
to go back to the cable companies and tell them they need to participate in the
being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:05 p.m.